I cannot believe it has been less than a month since I was in the states – It seems like since I got back I’ve done so much – it’s crazy! So much writing, events, London Fashion Week, working, meetings, auditions, recovering from jet lag and more auditions – it’s been completely mad!
Anyway, I realise that I still haven’t posted about the final location on my crazy US adventure which was New York.
I was so so excited to get to New York – I’d never been and knew so much about it and so many places I wanted to visit, I was afraid I may have over estimated it in my mind. Thankfully, not even years of hoping for the opportunity to visit can take away from how fantastic it is as a city. I was awestruck from the moment I arrived until the moment we left!
We arrived mid afternoon after dropping our rental car at JFK airport and hopping in a taxi to our apartment. We were staying in a cute little apartment on East 49th & Lexington which was just perfect – walkable to most places and easy to get to the subway at Grand Central Station to get anywhere further afield.
We had a quick unpack and then headed out towards Times Square. We wanted to go for a pre-dinner drink to take it all in and had been recommended to head to ‘The View’, a rotating bar just off Times Square. It was amazing – we timed it really well and caught the sunset over the Hudson River too which was incredible. After a cheeky bottle of Prosecco we asked our lovely waitress where she would recommend for dinner and she suggested heading to Restaurant Row and finding “Becco” – not knowing New York at all, we took her advice!
It was amazing – Becco do this fantastic deal called “Sinfonia Di Pasta” where you choose a caesar salad or antipasti to start and then for mains they bring you a plate and then the waiters come around with three options of main course – which you can have as much or as little of each – they kept coming out with fresh portions too so it was all hot and being made completely fresh – YUM! On the night that we went the three options were Rigatoni with Broccoli, Pepper, Garlic and Olive Oil; Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil & Lobster, Shrimp and Crab Risotto – All three were gorgeous – If we had more than 4 nights in the city I would have gone back – seriously good food! (and really reasonably priced too – $23.95 for both courses)
On our first morning we knew we wanted to do something to really take in the city, but I had never anticipated seeing it from the sky! As a surprise, we had been booked onto a helicopter ride over manhattan – Oh My God! I was so so excited – I’d never been in a helicopter before and going in one to look over manhattan on my first morning in New York was nothing short of amazing! The views were indescribable and it really gave me a scale of manhattan – seeing it all from above made it seem really huge and also really tiny at the same time!
There was also a very humbling moment seeing the sun reflecting off the pools at ground zero from above – just these two glittering squares in the ground amongst all this vast architecture – very very humbling.
After the helicopter ride, we decided to walk across Brooklyn Bridge, as the helipad was right by it. It was hot and crowded in the peak of the day but the views were absolutely breathtaking. One thing I found really fascinating on our cross over was reading some of the graffiti – there are messages of love, of longing, of loss – even a couple of marriage proposals – it was such a beautiful display of human life, whilst overlooking this stunning skyline.
When we got to Brooklyn, we popped into a restaurant overlooking the river for a light lunch – it was only at this point, while we were chatting about our plans for the rest of the day, that we thought to check what time the show we were seeing on broadway that night actually started. I had a look online and was horrified to see that it wasn’t an evening show but a matinee! We had about 30 minutes to get from Brooklyn to Broadway! Eeek!
We hopped in a taxi and made it to the theatre with about 5 minutes to spare!
I have always wanted to see a show on Broadway – I’ve seen shows in the West End, Off-West End and UK tours etc but there is something about Broadway that seems a bit more magical – I couldn’t wait – so you can imagine how stressful it was to almost miss it!
The show that we saw was “A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder” – I have a cousin, Scarlett, who is playing one of the leads and she had booked us some tickets. I knew it was good, I saw a section of it in last year’s Tony Award ceremony, where it won Best Musical, but it was so much better than I expected. It was so so funny, and the plot kept you interested throughout – the music was fantastic and the vocals were brilliant – safe to say I sat there with my mouth open throughout – amazement and hysteria in equal amounts.
After the show we had an unexpected evening free, we thought we were going to be at the theatre that night, so we went for a late afternoon explore in Central Park, which is HUGE! I knew it was big but it really is vast!
We went and found the Alice in Wonderful statue, Hans Christian Anderson, the boating lake, and even saw a bulldog on a skateboard! I could have spent a lot more time there – it seems like this little hub of calm in this incredibly fast-moving city.
As the sun set we headed back towards the apartment, a little bit sleepy after our first full day in New York – we really had crammed everything in! We went for dinner in a restaurant near the apartment and I was just about to head back for an early night when I got a message from my friend Charlotte who was also in New York – obviously I had to go and join her and her lovely boyfriend, Callum, for cocktails, gossip and a couple of “oh my god this is so weird, we are in new york!” moments! Charlotte and I have sung together loads in London, but to be together in New York was a little bit mad! Lovely, but mad! (We did take photos but Charlotte hasn’t sent me them yet – argh!)
Day one was a busy one, right? I’m guessing by now you can see why I came back more than a little bit jetlagged and exhausted! Ha!
Anyway, we did so much in New York that I’ve had to split it into a couple of posts – or I’ll miss something out, and I’d hate to do that, everything I did was so much fun! The next post will be out this weekend so keep your eyes peeled for that!